Publisher: Apollo, 2017.
Link to online store *
Yeongdo, Korea 1911. In a small fishing village on the banks of the East Sea, a club-footed, cleft-lipped man marries a fifteen-year-old girl. The couple have one child, their beloved daughter Sunja. When Sunja falls pregnant by a married yakuza, the family face ruin. But then Isak, a Christian minister, offers her a chance of salvation: a new life in Japan as his wife.
Following a man she barely knows to a hostile country in which she has no friends, no home, and whose language she cannot speak, Sunja’s salvation is just the beginning of her story.
Through eight decades and four generations, Pachinko is an epic tale of family, identity, love, death and survival.
Saga about the experiences of several generations of a Korean family who emigrated to Japan. The novel has a ring of authenticity. It's long, and towards the end we lost track of who the characters were and which generation were being talked about, but maybe that's a result of us not paying enough attention. We enjoyed the book, but haven't done a detailed review. This novel's mainstream enough for the broadsheets to have covered it: Krys Lee in the New York Times and Tash Aw in the Guardian, and it comes with the recommendation of President Obama.
Entry on Goodreads.com here.
* Where the book is available from a number of sources, they are prioritised as follows: (1) Amazon UK site (2) Amazon US site (3) Other sites in US or Europe, including second-hand outlets (4) LTI Korea, where the title is advertised as available from there (5) Onlines stores in Korea. Links to Amazon UK site contain an affiliate code which, should you make a purchase, gives a small commission to LKL at no additional cost to you.